High school proposals for Bury St Edmunds back on Suffolk County Council’s agenda

A visualisation of the previously proposed Moreton Hall Academy.

A visualisation of the previously proposed Moreton Hall Academy. - Credit: Contributed

Proposals for a new high school to be built in the Moreton Hall area of Bury St Edmunds will be discussed by county councillors again next month after the initial plans were rejected.

The plans for the new school were turned down by the county’s development control committee this month because of concerns about the drop-off facilities for students.

The committee was also worried that the school was too near homes and was too close to the Rougham airfield.

Planning officers have now spoken to specialists about further measures which would address the concerns and are hopeful that these will be accepted by the committee.

The new school should still be ready to open in September 2016. It will be built for 600 students, growing to provide 1,400 places as housing is developed across the town.

Lisa Chambers, cabinet member for education, said: “There is no denying that this was an unfortunate setback for the project.

“However, we have looked at the programme again and whilst we accept it is tight, our contractors have assured us that it is achievable and that delivery for September 2016 is still possible.

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“I understand that this is an anxious time for parents, and so I would like to reassure them by reminding them that in the unlikely event of further delays, we are able to use St James Middle School, if need be, purely as a temporary measure.

“However, I would like to be clear that I remain committed to making sure we meet the deadline of September 2016 for the opening of the new school. ”